Staff Senate
March 2007 Minutes

The University of Memphis

Staff Senate Minutes - Thursday, March 15, 2007

Panhellenic - 101

9:30 AM

Senators present: Bekis, Barbara; Bell, Karen; Boyce, Susan; Brown, Annette; Busby, Hugh; Cantler, Ed; Channell, Jessica; George, Elise; Harrison, April; Harbin, Bill; Hawkins, Roy; Hawkins, Yolanda; Hurley, Nancy; Johnson, Mary; Moses, Sheila;  Lim, Lorrean; Muldrow, Vanessa; O’Bryan, Kathy; Sirignano, Eric; Taylor-Strowder, Ora; Turner, Debra; Wilson, Deborah;  Wilson, Faye; Woemmel, Clay

Senators absent (Excused) Carman, Gary; Fair, Angela; Lee, Bernadette; Prahalathan, Pat; Swinger, Sandra; Walsh, Elaine; Wheeler, Helen; Young-Taylor, Geraldine;

Senators absent (Unexcused): Ballard, Evell; Colburn, Dorothy; Dimond, Joellen; Laney, Carol; Underwood, Bill

The March meeting was held in the Panhellenic Building with 23 senators present.

President Hurley called the meeting to order and announced that she had been notified by Janet Mitchell that office space in the Administration Building has been approved for the Staff Senate. 

President Hurley introduced and thanked our guest speakers, Mr. Lee of Financial Planning, and Marjorie Williamson of Human Resource.  Due to a prior commitment, Mr. Lee was asked to be the first speaker addressing the performance evaluation issue.  The problem of the lack of a written procedure on the proper way to address or appeal a “poor” performance evaluation was discussed. Mr. Lee said that Business and Finance uses a Supervisor Survey which gives each individual an opportunity to voice their opinion.  He utilizes an open door policy and emphasized that an employee does not need permission from their boss or supervisor to meet with him.  This is also a way to improve relationships within your departments.  TBR has a policy that you can appeal anything except a performance evaluation, unless you feel the evaluation is a result of discrimination. These issues should be dealt with between the employee and their supervisor and with the assistance of a higher supervisor when needed.  He recommends that every supervisor talk to the employee on a quarterly basis so there are no surprises on evaluations. He also looks for fairness and equity within the evaluations rather than number of points. All evaluations must be reviewed and a rebuttal written to the evaluation.  He suggests you ask your supervisor about your strengths and weaknesses and discuss with your supervisor how he/she will help you develop the weaker areas.  Ensure that your supervisor is giving evaluations and if not, then Mr. Lee and the President will get involved.  The employee has the responsibility to make evaluations happen, as there is no cookie cutter process for supervisors on how to evaluate.

Ms. Williamson stressed that performance evaluations are very successful and suggested knowing the specifics of your job description and the goals and objectives in order to know exactly what you are expected to do.  Evaluations are the responsibility of the employee and their supervisor jointly; however, employees should take the time to discuss concerns with supervisors before the evaluation and it should stay within the division.  She also encouraged documentation by each employee in order to have accurate evidence to support an appeal if necessary and also to speak directly with the supervisor rather than someone else.  In addition, keep a document that lists all the expectations and goals of the employer for the employee; this allows the employee to show the goals which were expected and whether they have or have not been accomplished.  The question was asked about the different grading systems between faculty and staff evaluations as the faculty evaluation scale is not as precise. Ms. Williamson suggested that enforcement of the policy is the issue. She also stated that all reviews are evaluated by Human Resource office; however, if an employee makes an issue among coworkers rather than bringing it to Human Resources then it cannot be dealt with correctly.  Senator Woemmel inquired as to the possibility of getting away from a letter grade on evaluations. It was then explained that it is simply another methodology of rating employees and makes it more understandable for supervisors as to how employees are performing.  Ms. Williamson said that Human Resource offers training classes for supervisors to help with their evaluations/leadership.

Executive Committee Reports

President’s Report: President Hurley called for and received approval of the minutes.

Vice President’s Financial Report:  No report

Secretary’s Report: No report

Membership Committee:  Senator Lim distributed the 2007-08 Staff Senate Nomination Ballot with the department, clusters, and the senator’s term ending dates.  Also included were the senators who are eligible for re-election in 2007. The motion was made and approved to automatically fill seats for two years.        

Public Relations: Senator Channel and Senator Karen Bell created a six question survey to be sent to all staff members and the motion was made and carried for the survey to be emailed. Janet Mitchell of the President’s office said that all outgoing emails must have the President’s approval beforehand due to rules and regulations in sending mass emails. A suggestion was made to send the survey to staff senators. A revised motion was made to send the survey to all senators for approval. The question was not called due to the lateness of the meeting and people leaving.

Website Report: No report

Election Committee: The election process will begin in March.

Issues and Reviews: No report

Legislative Advisory Committee: No Report

By-Laws Committee: No report

University Wide Committees

Bookstore: No Report

Campus Safety and Security: No report

Facilities and Services:  No report

Fee Refunds & Appeals: No report

1st Year Experiences: No report

Food Services/Dining: No report

IT Administrative Advisory:  No report

Policy Review Board: No report 

Presidents First Friday Forum: No report

Public Records/Forms: No report

Space Planning: No report

Traffic & Parking: No report

New Business:   The speaker for the April meeting will be either Tony Poteet, or Ken Mulvany, from Campus Planning + Design and they will give a brief presentation of the new Master Plan.

Respectfully submitted,

Faye Wilson,

Staff Senate Secretary

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